70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2000
Seeing this movie on cable is nothing compared to actually seeing it uncut and rated R. Unlike the ludicrously-conceived sequel, which hit theaters in 1999, this movie does not have a strong emphasis on blood or gore, and there is an evident emotional factor as well. The viewers can actually sympathize with Carrie White as she goes through her adolescent period, endures the hardhips of being the center of ridicule and banter, and her feelings of happiness when Tommy asks her to the prom. Sissy Spacek plays her character to a T, making the emotions believable and realistic. Piper Laurie, who plays her mother, is the pinacle of the tight-fisted parent who allows for nothing degrading to enter into her child's life or mind. Brian de Palma has truly done a marvelous job in recreating the Stephen King classic, and while some factors of the movie and the book differ at different times, there is still a remaining quality of justice done to the novel. This movie will also make some people think twice before making fun of anyone again. To all who see this, I hope you enjoy it.
60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2007
This is one of my favorite films. If you've never seen it how lucky you are to still have it ahead of you! If you haven't seen it for years, and remember it as just a dumb teen horror movie, you have the pleasure of discovering how well made and acted it is.
I was one of those who just thought this was a dumb teen horror movie, and was thus surprised when it was the first film we studied in one of my college film courses. Learning how deftly layered and brilliantly directed this movie is was in large part my first awakening to how interesting and well-done horror and other dismissed genres can be.
Although this film was considered horror when it came out, now, more than 20 years later, I think you have to look at it as more of a macabre tragic drama, because certainly no one will be scared by it. Many on the IMDb complain that "nothing happens" in the first hour, which I blame on its continuing place in the "horror" genre. Unfortunately, those people are missing all of the character development and thematic content that makes the ending so moving to those who have followed it.
The film is unflinching in its portrayal of female jealousy and sublimated sexual rage. The appearance of Carrie's powers coincides with her first period, i.e. the onset of sexual maturity. The following events are all about sexual attraction and jealousy, following Carrie's emergence as a woman, the dynamics of the other girls at school and their sexual/romantic intrigues, and the White family's bizarre sexual mores. The drama with the girls at school is all about dates and sex and going to the prom. Carrie's sympathetic gym teacher tries to get her to wear makeup and pay more attention to her hair. Meanwhile, Carrie's mother equates her menstruation with acceptance of sin, and later refers to her breasts as "dirty pillows." Once you start to look at it this way, you'll be surprised at the number of incidents and bits of dialogue that relate to this theme, and how carefully focused the entire screenplay is.
Sissy Spacek's performance really is multi-layered and heartbreaking, and gets better the more you get into the film. The early scenes at the prom, when you see her trying her best to get out of her shell, and how scared she is of being hurt, are all the more tragic knowing what is going to happen to her a few minutes later. When she is announced as Prom Queen, you see from the look on her face that she has finally come to believe that she has been accepted and liked. That the image of her walking silently through the burning school still remains so iconic and startlingly creepy is testament to her performance and this film's power.
The other amazing thing is DePalma's direction. The sequence beginning with the announcement of Carrie as Prom Queen is a masterpiece of building tension -- notice the music and editing as the sequence gathers speed, culminating with the spilling of the blood. You will also notice that this entire sequence is dialogue-free. It is so tight, audacious and over-the-top that you have to admire it. I know DePalma later expressed regret over the split screen effect, but I remember how effective it was when I first saw the film -- it left me feeling like so much is happening at once that you couldn't possibly take it all in. It's really overwhelming and distancing at the same time -- as opposed to most horror films that try to bring viewers INTO the terror.
The mere fact that this movie is still around almost 25 years later is a testament to its brilliance. It is much more respected now than when it first came out-- in part I think because the "horror" label worked against it. Look at the horror aspects the way they should be -- as a metaphor-- and you'll start to get into it. The closer you look the better it becomes.
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2010
The legendary CARRIE in High-Definition! This classic Cinderella story with a dark, supernatural twist to it has been a favorite of mine since I first saw it. It has it all: An emotionally-driven story (unlike most horror films) that takes you to highs, lows, and everything in between, mesmorizing performances by the charismatic Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie, and artistic cinematography by director Brian DePalma. It is surely the Ultimate Revenge film with exceptional acting and craftsmanship that puts our more modern movies to shame.
**Video and Audio Quality**
To keep it plain and simple: Carrie on DVD looks more like VHS quality, and Carrie on Blu-Ray looks more like DVD quality. So it never reaches the crisp, crystal clear look of today's Blu-Ray releases, but it is definitely cleaner and finer quality than the DVD. So if you want the best Carrie experience then watch it on Blu-Ray!
The Blu-Ray disc contains only the theatrical trailer. The DVD, however, is loaded with interviews by all the main cast members, director Brian DePalma, and others who worked on the film. There's a lot to learn from watching the interviews, including the conflicts and challenges they all underwent to make the film, a behind-the-scenes look on the special effects, and a deleted scene that was to be the prologue of the movie. There's also a photogallery and comparison between Stephen King's version of Carrie and Brian DePalma's version of Carrie, plus more.
**The Combo Pack**
It would have been better for everyone had they included the DVD special features on the Blu-Ray disc, but having it all on a combo pack is the next best thing, so if you're a Carrie fan or just love a beautifully crafted classical tale, this is a must have! Own this unforgettable drama/horror movie on Blu-Ray + DVD Combo Pack today!
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Steven King's novel depicting the trials of a bullied girl blossoming into womanhood while being victimized by a deranged mother is a masterpiece.
At school, the misfit Carrie White is friendless. Her feminine beauty is invisible to her classmates, who view only her inability to meet the standards of adolescent society. At home, the harassment tears her soul apart. Her mother is a deluded, man-hating and sexually repressed sociopath who unleashes her repressed sexuality by sadistically inflicting punishment on her blossoming daughter in the name of "Jesus."
When Carrie, ignorant of the facts of life, experiences the onset of her period at school, the scene is set for the perfect storm in horror movie history. Carrie believes that she is dying. Her classmates, like the pack of animals that they are, sense blood and go on the attack. At home, it becomes yet another means for the sadist to humiliate her prey. The school is ultimately clueless as to how to address the issue, thereby providing the perfect battlefield for the Armageddon to come.
Carrie is emotionally powerful horror film, an outstanding metaphor for the trauma of adolescent change, and no other film matches it's perfection.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2001
I am somewhat of a Brian DePalma fan and saw an edited version of the director's "Carrie" on CBS Network-television in 1978. I recently saw an uncut version of this film. "Carrie" is one of the greatest horror films and tragedies in movie history.
Socially awkward high school student Carrie White(Sissy Spacek) uses telekinetic powers to get back at her vicious classmates and religiously fanatical mother(Piper Laurie).
"Carrie" rivals "Dressed To Kill" as Brian DePalma's greatest thriller. This movie is the ultimate revenge fantasy for anyone who was picked on during their school days. Both Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie should have won Oscars for their magnificent performances. Spacek gives an unforgettable performance. Laurie is almost charismatic as the domineering and crazed Margaret White. This character offered the perfect comeback role for Laurie after her fifteen-year absence from the big screen. Nancy Allen's malicious Chris qualifies as one of the greatest villainous characters in movie history. DePalma made "Carrie" when he still knew how to make great movies. In recent years, DePalma has not only forgotten how to scare and shock viewers, but he has even forgotten how to make his audience feel genuine emotions. DePalma forces viewers to empathize with the pain and anguish of Carrie White. "Carrie" is a tragedy as well as a horror film. Perhaps no other film director has more realistically depicted adolescent cruelty than DePalma did in "Carrie." The shock conclusion will jolt viewers right out of their seats.
DePalma's "Carrie" is very well-recommended.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2010
If you enjoy this film as much as I do, I have bad news: The Blu-ray transfer is mediocre at best. Scenes are soft and often grainy, lacking any of the real clarity high def can bring. Sound also doesn't really benefit; it's slightly sharper but that's about it. Unless you don't already own the film, stick with the regular DVD. The upgrade, even at such a low price, isn't really worth it.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2005
Carrie should not be judged as a horror movie and nothing else, in my opinion it is a psychological tragedy in which the director confounds the viewer by forcing us to bleed our hearts out for a shy helpless girl and then goes and turns her into a merciless killer. The movie itself generates a creepy aura of wrongness with every scene, the different plot elements combine fantastically. Carrie's first period being such a terrifying ordeal for her is the metaphor for the film, innocence is savaged and mocked throughout. The film is an emotional rollercoaster, we empathise with Carrie's loneliness and confusion as a victim of bullying, even when she goes home she is psychologically attacked by her depraved religious fundamentalist mother who is hell bent on making sure Carrie should not enjoy a normal life. When a well-meaning student arranges for Carrie to join a popular high school cliche and attend the Prom, the negative forces in her life (bullies/mother) each separately conspire to bring about her ruin, psychologically they depend on the existence of a shy socially handicapped Carrie and cannot stand the thought of her escaping their need.
The acting performances in this film are incredible, two performances in particular stand out, Sissy Spacek completely revels in the role of Carrie - she manages to convey extreme shyness and vulnerability without ever becoming static or dull, she is animated and withdrawn at the same time as her eyes dart suspiciously around her while at the same time managing to look like a baby deer caught in a metal snare. When Carrie eventually unleashes years of pent up rage and bitterness, everyone gets splashed, righteous and unrighteous alike, Spacek adopts a frozen grimace of madness, her eyes bulge as the tables are turned on all those who thought her fair game for abuse, she gives it all back with interest and her fury ensnares some innocents. The second performance of real worth is that of Carrie's mother, played by Piper Laurie. Laurie deserved an academy award for her stunning portrait of the witchlike religious fundamentalist who's mental disturbance is psychologically damaging her daughter, indeed we are left in little doubt that Margaret White is a prime factor in Carrie's emotional problems. Laurie adopts a weird reedy voice for the role as she rattles off lines of scripture in a chopping fashion, tossing around directives to her daughter like a KGB chief on speed. Laurie's performance is also physically impressive, she is constantly moving about, waving her arms about and generally giving a very convincing interpretation of psychosis. We even feel sympathy for her as she describes her sad past one night to her daughter. A third performance of note is that of Tommy Ross, played by William Katt, i thought he injected a much needed note of humanity into the film, his portrait of the ostensibly tough and shallow jock was also laced with kindness, smypathy and tenderness when having been placed in the position of having to pretend he likes Carrie he finds himself actually starting to love her.
This is a somewhat difficult film to watch more than once, though just as interesting and compelling the ending is so sad and tragic and the pigs blood scene so savage that knowing what comes next is torturous, particularly as the worst scene comes just after the point where it seems Carrie has triumphed over adversity and carved a normal life out of chaos. The saddest lesson from this movie is catching a glimpse of the charming, delightful and gentle woman Carrie might have been (at the prom) and then seeing this vision so mercilessly butchered immediately afterwards. I saw once that there was some criticism off the insect ile like multi-vision perspective of Carrie near the end when simultaneously she sees the many faces of the crowd laughing at her in individual 'panes' and the ghostly cracked voice of her mother in her head intones "they're all gonna laugh at you", i think this was really clever and ingenious - the strangeness of it marks Carries transformation to madness perfectly while the multiple panes of vision convey her extreme sensitivity, she is acutely aware of every single individual mocking her (even her sympathethic teacher - an interesting question is wether the teacher really did join the others in ridiculing her), so ultimately from her perspective - they all must die, a stunning way to convey paranoia. The only let down is in the final confrontation between Carrie and her mother in the house, but then it would be very difficult to trump the scene which just preceded it. The final part with the hand - makes me jump every time, even though you know it's coming it seems to catch you unawares as though you just cannot pinpoint when exactly Carrie's bloodied hand is going to emerge from the debris.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2000
"Carrie" is one heck of a movie. It's horror and drama all wrapped up in one. Sissy Spacek plays the timid Carrie White, a girl who is tormented by her classmates, and abused by her religious fanatic mother, Margaret (Piper Laurie). No one likes her, except for her gym teacher Miss Collins (Betty Buckley), but after a terrible prank in the girls locker room, one of the pranksters, Sue Snell (Amy Irving) feels sorry for what she did and asks her popular football player jock boyfriend Tommy (William Katt) to ask Carrie to the prom. He agrees and for once, the audience is happy for Carrie, seeing she is having a great time at the prom, but the evil Chris Hargenson (Nancy Allen) decides to pull a prank on Carrie that proves all too deadly. This film is fantastic. It is a cross between drama (the first half) and complete horror (the second half). The weird thing is, you really do feel sorry for Carrie! The way she is tormented by her classmates and her mother is awful, but the viewer knows about her new "powers" and she really makes use of them during that prom! By the way, in case anyone is confused by this, Carrie was imagining her classmates laughing at her, they really weren't. Based on the novel by Stephen King, it spawned numerous imitations and was followed by a sequel 23 years later.
38 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Stephen King's first novel that was adapted into film version is quite true to the author's words. While Stephen King was less than pleased with the film version of his malevolent masterpiece, "The Shining", King was quite happy with Brian De Palma's direction and his vision with "Carrie".
Sissy Spacek in her debut role as the freakish, shy and telekinetic Carrie White. Sissy beat out Melanie Griffith and Carrie Fisher for the title role that launched her career.
The beautiful Piper Laurie is cast as the ravenous religious fanatic, stark-raving, bible beating, madwoman and Carrie's mother, Margaret White who chastises Carrie relentlessly and has a penchant for locking her daughter in the closet with a really creepy, crucified Jesus statue and candles so that Carrie may repent of her evil, sinful and womanly ways.
Amy Irving as the well-to-do town doctor's daughter Sue Snell and Amy's real-life mom, Priscilla Pointer as the "cocktails at five socialite", Mrs. Snell.
William Katt plays Tommy Ross who asks Carrie to The Bates High School Senior Prom, the butch, Betty Buckley as the ultimate in P.E. teachers from Hell, Miss Collins, Nancy Allen , Brian De Palma's wife as the horribly cruel and self-absorbed, Chris Hargensen, John Travolta as the boy from the wrong side of the tracks, Billy Nolan and P.J. Soles, the "whore" from Halloween as Chris' best friend and partner in crime, Norma Watson.
Even a young Edie, (Grace from Ferris Buehler's Day Off and the car rental lady from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles) has a bit part.
The real star here, however, is Brian De Palma's direction and the cinematography in "Carrie". The opening shower scene rivals "Psycho", the Senior Prom dance scene makes the viewer dizzy no matter how small a screen you watch it on, the split-screen King and Queen and ensuing bloodfest is masterfully directed and shot along with the dream sequence that was filmed backwards in the end. However, my favorite scene is where Margaret White is crucified a la "creepy Jesus statue" style, by her own daughter!
A Top 10 Horror Film In My Book!
Happy Watching and Unpleasant Dreams!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2008
The CARRIE (SPECIAL EDITION) DVD is fantastic. Not only do you get a remastered version of Brian De Palma's masterpiece of horror, "Carrie," but you get some good extras!
The 1976 film was De Palma's adaptation of Stephen King's first novel, Carrie. And was executed perfectly! From casting to the sublime use of split screen to the use of sound to the soundtrack itself, CARRIE is a horror tour de force that keeps audiences in the grip of fear.
If you haven't seen the movie or read the book it's about a shy and timid high school girl who has the power to move objects with her mind. She's picked on by the other girls, and her mother is a religious fanatic who beats her and makes her pray in a closet. Anyway, Carrie is the butt of jokes and one student feels sorry for her and gets Carrie a date to the prom. But a couple of students want to play a nasty trick on her and Carrie unleashes her rage on the entire student body!
I remember seeing the movie poster everywhere during the 70s, when I was a kid, and being absolutely horrified at the image of actress Sissy Spacek covered in blood. The stark whiteness of her skin and the red blood made a contrast that spooked the hell out of me. And she's the perfect actress to play the role. If ever there was perfect casting this was it. And so was Nancy Allen, as the popular mean girl in school; Amy Irving, as the sympathetic student; William Katt, as Irving's boyfriend and Carrie's date. Piper Laurie was brilliant as Carrie's demented mother and John Travolta was cute as Allen's bad-boy boyfriend.
Anyway, the DVD comes with an insert booklet that provides trivia info on the filming, casting and behind-the-scenes of "Carrie." Also, the DVD has:
***ACTING CARRIE--Documentary with Spacek, Irving, Allen, Katt and Buckley among others (43-minutes)
***VISUALIZING CARRIE--Documentary with Brian De Palma explaining the film and special effects of "Carrie" with footage and still from the filming (40-minutes)
***CARRIE THE MUSICAL--Featurette about the musical (yes a musical!) based on the movie with Betty Buckley (6-minutes)
***PHOTO GALLERY--Pics from the film (6-minutes)
***STEPHEN KING & THE EVOLUTION OF CARRIE--Text that you can read on the screen about the creation of "Carrie" from idea to book to movie
And the DVD menu design is great too! I LOVE this movie. Not only does it work as a scary film, but it's like an onion that has many layers to it. The more you watch it the more you start uncovering things that you missed the first time around. BRILLIANT! I would love to see this on the BIG screen!